How to Say Goodbye November 25 2015 1 Comment

How to say goodbye after show season

The end of the show season is upon us and that means one thing: we are all saying “goodbye” to something.  Be it the show season of 2015, your junior exhibitor years, or even your equine partner, there is nothing like saying “goodbye” to make you want to crawl into a hole and hide until you just don’t have to say it (if only that worked)!

Unfortunately, real life doesn’t offer such a solution. So instead, we have to find a way to deal.  Here are five ways to help you say “Goodbye”:

Stay involved

If you are a junior exhibitor and you're aging out, you probably have a lot going through your head… things like, I will never have another horse; how will I compete as an amateur; I may never see the inside of a barn again!

Well, stay calm and get involved!  All of these are potential outcomes of you aging out.  You may never have another horse.  You may have a hard time competing as an amateur.  You may never see the inside of a barn again.  But that’s only if you let those things happen.  If you stay involved in the industry, no matter what capacity, I guarantee you will end up in a barn again.  As for having a horse and competing as an amateur, those are great goals for your future!  Don’t just take those potential outcomes as guarantees and accept defeat. Stick around and you will find more opportunities to participate in ways you never thought you’d enjoy.

Think of the positives

While there is literally nothing more devastating than having to say “goodbye” to an equine partner, there are ways to cope with that feeling of loss.  Start by thanking your lucky stars that your equine partner isn’t dead and is in fact about to find another rider that needs the many lessons your partner taught you to become a better equestrian.  Focus on the fact that you loved your equine partner enough to be totally wrecked at the thought of selling them, which means that you KNOW their new human partner will love them just the same (and definitely spoil them with peppermints).  This type of change also means you have something to be proud of as a rider.  You have (hopefully) worked hard over the past few years with your equine partner and the fact that you mastered them and need new challenge is something you ought to be proud of.  Keep an eye on those silver linings!

Prep for 2016

If you just hate the off-season like the rest of us (excluding the professionals who are loving some downtime right now), start prepping for the 2016 season.  While many are winding down the number of rides they have a week, ramp it up!  Participate in No-Stirrup-November and get in the saddle as often as you can.  This will give that sense of working toward something rather than being stationary; a common feeling when the season ends.


While moving forward and moving on are important parts of getting past that “goodbye” feeling, reflecting on all you have accomplished or done is an important part of understanding why or how you would best like to say that dreaded phrase!  There’s either a lot for you to be proud of or a lot for you to work on so whether your “goodbye” is bittersweet or a huge relief, make sure you take a look at what you did this past show season and think about how you can do it better next year!

Be thankful

Above all else, be grateful for the opportunities you have and have had that have put you in the position of having to say “goodbye.”  It isn’t the average kid, teen, or adult that gets to spend their free time with the amazing and impressive creatures we are lucky enough to call our friends, our partners, and our pets; horses.

Have any tips to ease the “Goodbye” pains?  Share in the comments down below!